The Golden Cowpat

The Golden Cowpat showcases storytelling at its finest. Though the scene opened on a modest set (a green carpet and a fence) and only two actors (Anna Wheatley and Roddy Peters), we were immediately transported to a small farm in the country. This transformation is brought about by Hemmings, the narrator of the show, who sets the stage for The Golden Cowpat. As Hemmings described the country of Mandari where the farm lies and introduces us to all the animals on the farm as well as their owner Hector, one could not help but envision the whole scene.

Through Hemmings we learn that Hector is a happy farmer who for years has worked on a prosperous farm, but that lately business has begun to falter. The tables seem to be turned, however, when Betty, one of his cows, begins leaving golden cowpats around the field. Hector decides to take Betty to the town to sell her cowpats and here is where the adventure begins.

Hemmings talent as a consummate storyteller and actor was apparent throughout. Through his movements and words he brought both the story and the various roles he assumes to life, moving seamlessly through personas such as Hector the happy farmer, the exuberant mayor and even Betty the cow. As Hemmings narrated, Wheatley performed delightful folk songs using guitar, ukulele, egg shaker, accordion and vocals. The song about Betty, ‘the cow who has the moos’, is an apt example of her clever and cute compositions.

The only problem with the show lies in the fact that children are occasionally not as appreciative as adults of excellent storytelling and superb songs. Although Hemmings is very good at tailoring the show to the audience (at this particular performance he extended the cow-pooing session when it garnered laughs), there are still points when the action lags a bit. However, older children (above fives at least) should be able to grasp the plot enough to fix their attention and, with a show this charming, it's just possible the parents will enjoy the performance as much as the kids.

Reviews by Margaret Sessa-Hawkins

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Performances

The Blurb

Plop! The Cowpat is back! Having left families giggling throughout the UK, Tucked In return to the Fringe with their 'delightful new children's story' (Stage). Featuring catchy live music, thrilling storytelling and madcap puppetry. **** (ThreeWeeks).

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